Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Performance and Cultural Industries

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Chris O’Connor

Course: BA Philosophy and English, MA Writing for Performance and Publication

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I was born in Leeds but I moved to Kilburn, in North West London, when I was four. I went to school in London and after finishing sixth form I spent six months working before travelling to New Zealand and Australia.

What made you choose to study at the University?

I was born in Leeds and am a big Leeds United fan (that shouldn’t be a factor, but it definitely was), so I always wanted to come back. After visiting the campus and the relevant departments I was sold.

What are your fondest memories of your time at Leeds?

Well I’m still here for a start! Leeds is a fantastic city with loads of opportunities and a thriving cultural scene. It is also on the doorstep of some of the most beautiful landscapes that England has to offer. My fondest memories of University are of living in Headingley in my third year with a wonderful group of people who I am still friends with today.

Moving on to your career, where do you currently work and what is your job title?

I’m a writer first and foremost, but I also work freelance in arts marketing and managing social media accounts. Day-to-day I will either be working on a draft of a play, writing a comedy sketch or helping with the marketing of a performance. As well as this I will be managing a number of Twitter and Facebook accounts for my clients.

How do you think your degree has helped you to progress in your career? In particular, what skills did you learn and how do you use these in your role/career path?

My undergraduate degree taught me a lot of invaluable analytical skills that undoubtedly make me a better writer and also help me massively in writing copy, newsletters and mailouts for different arts organisations. My Masters allowed me to develop my writing and learn crucial skills in structuring and characterisation that benefitted me greatly. It also got me writing regularly and gave me the opportunity to have my work developed and critiqued by people already doing what I wanted to do.

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